Arsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech, has on Friday announced his retirement from international duties for his country, Czech Republic.
Czech Republic were eliminated from this summer’s European Championships by Turkey after finishing bottom of Group D with one point, which they secured in their 2-2 draw with Croatia. But the 34-year-old, who took to Twitter to announce his decision, denied the team’s poor performance at the tournament influenced his decision to quit.
He however said he does not feel he would be able to carry on through the next World Cup, adding that he wants to fully focus on his career at Premier League club, Arsenal. He said:
“I made the decision before the European Championship. This is a purely football-based decision. If I want to prolong my career and play at the highest level for as long as I can, then I will probably need to find the balance so that I can continue to do so.”
Cech who holds a record of 121 caps for his country made his senior international debut in 2002 and went on to represent the Czech Republic at Euro 2004 – where they finished third and the 2006 World Cup before captaining the side at Euro 2008.
While 2006 proved to be his only chance to appear in the World Cup finals, Cech would go on to play for his country at Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 – but has now called time on his international career.
Cech moved to Arsenal last summer from London rivals Chelsea but ended his first season with the Gunners empty-handed as they finished a distant second to surprise Premier League champions Leicester.
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During the season, Cech did take the record for the most clean sheets in Premier League history and now, having won four league titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League across town at Chelsea – he is setting his eyes on lifting trophies once again.